Stop Overexposing S-Log3

Breakdown of Sony Settings

In our Color Grading Live session, we are going to look at Sony footage and talk about why you should STOP overexposing S-Log3. Need help dialing in your settings? We’ll talk about proper exposure settings, gamma assist, zebras, and noise—all while getting the most out of it while filming in S-Log3.

Resources Used in This Video

  • Exposure

    • Sony White Papers. Expose for middle grey at 41 IRE
    • No need to over-expose your footage. The original reason for over-exposure was older cameras and sensors were not great and had more noise in the shadows. Since the A7s3, FX3, and newer cameras have come out, the sensors are much better at handling noise.
    • Example footage at different exposures.
  • Noise Levels

    • Place a lens cap on your lens and film at different ISO settings.
    • It’s always important to be filming at the Native ISO or slightly higher for cleaner results
    • Native ISO does not necessarily mean the cleanest noise levels. Dynamic range vs Cleanest noise are different.
    • 640 and 12,800 on A7S3 but different on other ones.
    • S-Cinetone is 100 and 2,000.
  • Clipping Points

    • S-Log3 clips around 8 IRE for black levels and 88 IRE for pure white levels.
    • Do not film under BaseISO!
    • S-Cinetone is 1 IRE to 100 IRE. I would expose right at 0 compensation or slightly under since highlights clip fast. So do black levels though.
    • If you want to film in S-Cinetone because you can go lower on ISO values, let me challenge you that S-Log3 is better at 640 ISO than S-Cinetone is at 100 ISO. Even cranked Shutter Speed, S-Cinetone clips at 1250 SS while S-Log3 Clips at 800 SS with a higher ISO.
  • S-Cinetone

    • When to film in S-Cinetone.
    • Honestly if you don’t have a high dynamic range scene and you plan on having a quick turnaround time without having to grade.
    • However, it’s easy to view the in camera Gamma Assist and its fast to just add a conversion LUT in post and you are there. If you have never filmed in LOG, film in S-Cinetone. Then have some styled shoots or test days to try filming in LOG
    • Example of models in S-Cinetone to S-Log3
  • Zebras

    • Middle Grey should be 41% Std+Range +-1
    • Highlights clip at 88 on the IRE scale. However, the camera seems to display those ranges differently. You should set it to 94 or 95 Lowest Range.
    • When you turn on your Gamma Assist, the Zebras will still be referencing S-Log3 and will not be impacted by the LUT or Gamma Assist. However, some Sony cameras do have their zebras impacted by a LUT or gamma assist. So make sure you test it out. Turn off Gamma Assist and set your Zebras to 60%. Then turn on your LUT or Gamma Assist and see if it changes. If it doesn’t then your zebras are not impacted by the LUT
    • For Skin-tones, we recommend setting them to 51 with a +-3 so 48%-54%. That should be a good ballpark but not a requirement.
  • S-Log3 Conversion LUTs

    • Let’s take a look at the main options for converting S-Log3 in post.
    • All these are LUTs that I have purchased and all provide slightly different results. You can use them when grading, just know how they are affecting your image so that you can know what to expect when grading across multiple different environments.